April 21, 2020

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has opened for applications

During this difficult time for the country, we recognise the extreme disruption the necessary actions to tackle coronavirus are having on people’s jobs and businesses. But we are the Party of business – we will make sure business owners large and small have the support they need through these unprecedented times.  

That’s why we have produced a huge and unprecedented programme of support both for workers and for business, and we’ll do everything we can to ensure people can pay their bills, stay in their home and put food on their table.

Today, one of those programmes has, our unprecedented Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, has opened for applications.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is one of the most generous schemes in the world. It will help to protect millions of jobs across the country. And, in these unprecedented times, it will give many businesses the extra support they need to survive.

What is the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme?

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is a Government policy that offers grants to employers who promise to retain their staff, covering most of the cost of paying people’s wages. That way, businesses can keep providing people with the security of a job, and businesses in return have the security of a steady flow of cash to keep afloat.

That means more job security for employees, who otherwise would be unemployed in difficult times. More security for those small business owners who are struggling with the impact of COVID-19. And more stability for the British economy, to get our country through the virus.  

We know businesses are at the heart of a successful economy. And coronavirus has extremely disrupted our economy, as it has across the globe. But by taking fast and strong action to support businesses, jobs, and the economy, such as implementing the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, we will help our country get through this crisis together.

Why we implemented the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

We are taking unprecedented action at rapid speed to support British jobs and businesses. That means providing people the support they need to pay their bills, stay at home, and put food on the table.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme provides businesses the support they need to do that. And Chancellor Rishi Sunak made the case clear for why we implemented the scheme on Monday.

“It’s important to be clear why we have introduced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, and the other schemes we’ve put in place to support the self-employed and businesses.

“We’ve never seen an economic crisis like this one. Times like this demand that we put aside ideology and orthodoxy.  Times like this demand that the state turns to its most immediate purpose: the protection and support of its people.

“The goal of the new schemes we’ve developed is to maintain as many people as possible in their existing jobs; to support viable businesses to stay afloat; and to protect the incomes of the self-employed to allow them to trade again.

“To maintain, in other words, our economy’s productive capacity so that we can bridge through this crisis.

“That is what we have done – and the Office for Budget Responsibility said last week that the situation would have been much worse if it hadn’t been for our actions.

How do I apply?

You can apply for the scheme through the Government web portal. Thousands of people have already done so, and the scheme is expected to benefit millions across the country.

The process for applying is easy and seamless. Many firms who apply will receive funds in roughly six days, and over 140,000 firms applied for support in the first six hours of the scheme going live.

HMRC’s easy-to-use portal has a step by step application process, and up to 5,000 staff will be manning phone lines and webchat services to ensure any questions can be answered.

Stay at Home. Protect the NHS. Save Lives.

The Government has been working day and night to battle against coronavirus, delivering a strategy designed to support people staying at home, retaining their job security and keeping businesses afloat. That way, through the coronavirus outbreak, people can stay at home, so we can protect the NHS and save lives.

This Government is working around the clock, guided by the best scientific evidence and advice, to inform our step-by-step action plan to defeat Coronavirus. So at this time of national emergency, to help us with the battle against COVID-19, it’s worth repeating what you must do: stay at home, to protect the NHS, and save lives.

Region Labour's Pension Tax (£) Extra Months to Work
England 11,167 44
East Midlands 6,150 50
Greater London 12,871 45
North East 9,758 38
North West 6,835 47
South East 14,270 40
South West 7,407 45
West Midlands 10,729 41
Northern Ireland 13,718 35
Scotland 10,653 41
Wales 11,691 36
United Kingdom 11,253 43

Commenting, Therese Coffey, Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions, said:

“Corbyn’s Pension Tax will see ten million savers facing a huge bill forcing them to delay their retirement for almost three and a half years.
“This is just one of the ways a Corbyn government would hammer hardworking people on top of his plans to hike up taxes by £2,400 a year, as well as the cost of his plan for unlimited immigration and the chaos of 2020 being dominated by two more referendums – one on Brexit and another on Scottish independence.
“Only Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party can get Brexit done with a deal, get parliament working again and turbocharge our economy to unleash Britain’s potential.”

Read more about how this Pension Tax will impact millions of savers (PDF)